It is like a National Geographic special. They romp and play, pounce and chase, and the vixen meticulously grooms each of the kits which they apparently enjoy immensely.
At the edge of this field is our bluebird house, and the male works hard to bring food to the female in the box, and also to drive off any interlopers – black birds, starlings, - anything that seems to threaten the welfare of his family.
Yesterday late afternoon saw a new development – an interface between fox and bird. The vixen was lying in the middle of the field with just her ears showing above the green of the wheat growing there. Suddenly she was attacked by both bluebirds – swooping within a hair’s breadth of her sharp teeth, and then returning to do the same over again and again. She finally got up and trotted slowly back into the woods.
What, we said to ourselves, was that all about?
We got our answer. The bluebird fledglings had left the nest. Their flying skills are very basic, and despite their frantic uncoordinated fluttering, they often crash into the lawn and would make a tasty little snack for a hungry fox.
Within a matter of hours they are much more accomplished flyers, although their short little tails, and still developing wings do not allow very long flights, so they sit on tree branches and immediately become invisible, while the parents, mainly the male, bring them their meals.
Two families – foxes and bluebirds – trying to survive.
Just one of the little dramas that takes place in the world of nature.